LAHORE - All the security institutions are taking collective actions against terrorist forces in Punjab, Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah Khan said yesterday while describing the Punjab Operation.

“Police, Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), Rangers and Pak-Army are taking part in this operation. They have full support of whole nation, as it is a national cause,” Sanaullah told the media. He was accompanied by Punjab Government spokesman Zaeem Hussain Qadri, IGP Police Mushtaq Sukhera and Home Secretary.

All the political and religious parties have also joined the security institutions with a determination to root out terrorism, the law minister added.

Following the National Action Plan, as many as 8200 troops have been carrying out intelligence based operations with the help of police against the terrorists and their facilitators in Punjab, he said, adding that as many as 1550 persons were enlisted under the Schedule Four; 1000 of them arrested.

Over the last 24 hours, the minister added, 56 operations were carried out by the police and 16 by CTD. Over 5200 persons were rounded up. Some 500 were, later on, set free after interrogation while 216 were still in custody.

The operation in Punjab has been intensified in the wake of a suicide attack at one of the city’s major parks - Gulshan-i-Iqbal - which left 74 people dead and over 300 injured.

Giving again a clean chit to the Madaris in the provinces, Sanaullah said all 15000 seminaries were thoroughly scrutinised through geo-tagging and every details regarding the teachers and students – both local and foreigners - and their background have been gathered.

“No anti-state activity has been found out in these Madaris,” the law minister assured the media, adding that the same outcome was from the 532 most suspected seminaries.

On the Lahore terror attack, the minister said a Joint Investigation Team represented by all agencies has been set up, which would complete its preliminary report within few days.

About a man, Muhammad Yousaf who was announced by the police as suicide bomber, the minister said that Yousaf was yet a suspect and the JIT would soon come clear on his position.

To a question on the army operation in South Punjab soon after the blast, the minister explained that ‘Rawalpindi’ directed for a prompt action as it was quick to get information.

“And now when the operation has been stepped up on the direction of Prime Minister and Rawalpindi (alluding to GHQ), Islamabad and Lahore all are part of it,” he added.

He further said that after the success Zarb-e-Azb and NAP, terror incidents in Punjab are now sporadic unlike the past when they were taking place every fortnight.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also given a go-head for a major operation in Kacha areas of the province, the minister told the media. “The operation will continue till elimination of last terrorist on Pakistani soil,” Sanaullah stated and reiterated with confidence that no safe havens of the terrorists and no no-go areas existed anywhere in the province.

IGP Mushtaq Sukhera, who was also present during the press conference, said the police force was insufficient to protect every public place even in the Punjab capital city, when asked about the security lapses. “We do not have enough number of policemen to provide foolproof security to every bazaar and public place in the city.

“However, we provided foolproof security to over 500 churches on the occasion of Easter,” Sukhera maintained. He also ruled out any beforehand threat warning about the Gulshane Iqbal Park terror hit.